The Scottish housing market remained broadly stable last month, with both activity and house prices showing some encouraging signs, says the latest RICS housing market survey.
For the first time since time since mid-2011, the new buyer enquiries and newly agreed sales series remained positive for the third consecutive month. A net balance of three percent more chartered surveyors reported a rise in new buyer enquires, teamed with a net balance of six percent more surveyors reporting an increase in newly agreed sales.
Near term price expectations are broadly flat with a net balance of only five percent more chartered surveyors reporting a likely fall in prices over the next 3 months. More significantly, the longer term outlook suggests a more upbeat picture for house prices, with a net balance of 28 percent more surveyors predicting a rise in prices over the next 12 months. This is the most positive reading since July 2010. Surveyors responding to the survey suggest that, on average, house prices are likely to rise by 1.5 percent over this period.
Sarah Speirs, Director RICS Scotland, commented, “It is encouraging that the Scottish housing market continues to indicate that we are moving away from the highly negative figures witnessed in previous years. However, despite this, activity is still much lower that pre-crisis norm, and action is required to increase finance and give the market the real thrust that is required.”
Thomas Baird MRICS, Registered Valuer, Select Surveyors, Glasgow, said, “We are expecting the number of property sales to increase over the next six months and a slight increase in valuation to reflect this. The number of home report instructions remains steady and again we would anticipate an increase over the summer months.”
The positive signs within the housing market fail, however, to impact on the lettings industry. Latest RICS figures show that tenant demand in Scotland remains robust and continues to exceed new landlord instructions. Consequently, a net balance of 25 percent more chartered surveyor report an increase in rent expectations over the next three months.